Any Columbia student with eyes has noticed the intimidating group of students with cigarettes dominating the fronts of John Jay and Butler. These tobacco tyrants all seem to know exactly what to do and when, making it difficult for newbies to find a way in. Bwog writer Gabbie gifts you with everything you need to know.
From afar, you see a small conglomeration, settled neatly over a round table, inside the garden in front of John Jay Hall. In other words, the International Smoking Area. The mass is made of many different timbres of skin tones. Unification occurs by a general distrust of filthy Americans and a small, paper wrapped stick of escapism, held in the hand with no affectation.
You come, with your broad vowels and mouth filled with a few too many teeth, a cup of shitty dining hall coffee held in your hand, which you only recently started drinking. Your mother never let you when you were younger. You think John Jay coffee is wholly acceptable.
In your sweaty palms you clutch a pack. Maybe light turquoise, bearing the name of your country on it, even less succinct than a pack of Marlboros or something with menthol. American Spirits. You are infused with the American Spirit, not even experienced enough to know yet that tobacco isn’t meant to be that harsh.
Let me give you some advice: don’t even try getting closer. Your braying will set off a bloodbath. Go to your room, which is probably clad in many decorative elements your parents bought for you at a Bed, Bath and Beyond in New Jersey. Open the closet doors to the cram of your brightly colored clothes. Select something black. Ebony is acceptable. Grey cannot be frowned upon. Adopt a certain air of uncertainty mixed with a lack of care as you lift the black garment over your head.
While you’re there, throw that pack of turquoise shit away. Go to the kiosk, buy a pack of Amsterdam Shag (you can’t buy Old Holborn White here unfortunately), a pack of slim filters, and for goodness sake’s, make sure you have your own lighter. Learn how to roll, even if you’re really bad at it, at least people will know you’re making some effort to make your habit sustainable and affordable.
Better yet, skip all that, go to the ISA, and ask one of the internationals, preferably a Korean, whether you can pay them a dollar for their cheap imported cigarettes (bonus if you get a cool flavor, like grape or double menthol), as you’re trying to quit. There is your ‘in’.
Jokes, everyone absolutely hates it when you do that.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons